× Digital News Videos Health & Science Opinion Education Columnists Lifestyle Cartoons Moi Cabinets Kibaki Cabinets Arts & Culture Gender Podcasts E-Paper Tributes Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Jobs Games Crosswords Sudoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS
×
VAS

Somalia opens first public oxygen plant to help treat Covid-19 amid severe shortage

AFRICA
By Reuters | October 1st 2021

General Director of Banadir Hospital, Fartun Sharif inspects the medical oxygen cylinder tanks at the Banadir Hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia. [Reuters]

Somalia's first public oxygen plant opened on Thursday, in a ray of hope for a country where a lifesaving treatment for the coronavirus has been largely unavailable to patients during the pandemic.

Global demand for medical oxygen has surged with the Covid-19 pandemic, and many countries have experienced desperate shortages.

This and a lack of other equipment mean Africans seriously ill from Covid-19 are more likely to die than patients elsewhere, according to a study published in May by medical journal The Lancet, which cited data from 64 hospitals in 10 countries.

The new plant in Mogadishu was purchased for 282,000 euro ($240,700) from Turkey by the Hormuud Salaam Foundation, established by the country's largest telecoms company, Hormuud.

It will be installed at the Banadir Maternity and Children Hospital, where the foundation has also funded the repair of its Covid-19 ward.

The wing and the hospital's outer wall were partially destroyed during a nearby attack in July by Islamist al-Shabaab militants, who are fighting to overthrow the government.

Batuhan Yucel, a Turkish technician, installs the oxygen plant at the Banadir Hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia. [Reuters]

Medical oxygen production needs experts to operate and maintain equipment. It also requires reliable electricity and water supplies, which most Somali public hospitals do not have.

Other countries, such as India, suffered severe oxygen shortages during surges in Covid-19 infections, forcing desperate families of patients to pay exorbitant prices for cylinders.

"One cylinder of oxygen usually costs around $50 in Somalia but can reach up to $400 or $500 (at private hospitals) because of the shortage," said Abdullahi Nur Osman, CEO of Hormuud's foundation.

He said the oxygen will be distributed among the public hospitals in the capital Mogadishu free of charge.

As of Wednesday, Somalia had reported nearly 20,000 Covid-19 cases and 1,100 deaths, according to the World Health Organization, but figures could be far higher due to inadequate testing and unreported deaths.

Only 1% of Somalia's 15 million citizens are fully vaccinated, reflecting inequities in vaccine distribution that the World Health Organization warns will prolong the pandemic, which has already claimed nearly 5 million lives.

Covid 19 Time Series

 

Share this story
Pacquiao makes Philippines presidential run official
Manny Pacquiao said he was unperturbed by the results of an opinion poll showing him in fourth spot among preferred presidential contenders
India, Uzbekistan discuss need to ensure Afghan territory must not be used for terrorism
The discussion took place during the meeting between the Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture and Uzbek Foreign Minister.

.
RECOMMENDED NEWS

;
Feedback